ST. PAUL – Minnesota poultry farmers may once again be facing concerns regarding the highly pathogenetic avian flu (HPAI), as cases continue to be detected in the upper Midwest.
Because of this, State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) wants to remind residents that there is no danger in consuming chicken or turkey products.
“We can’t say it enough. Chicken and turkey products remain safe to eat, and residents should continue to purchase these meats as they normally would,” Davids said. “If fact, you’d be doing the industry a great favor by purchasing more poultry products than normal during these trying times.”
In 2015, an avian flu outbreak caused the death of 9 million birds throughout the state either through contamination or euthanization to slow the spread. Davids said poultry producers, as well as the state’s agricultural economy, were crippled by the outbreak.
In response, the legislature provided significant funds to help deal with the emergency and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) instituted numerous biosecurity measures meant to slow the spread of avian flu if another outbreak came to Minnesota. Davids said these biosecurity measures have Minnesota in a much better place today as compared to 2015.
Davids urges turkey and chicken farmers to visit Minnesota’s Board of Animal Health websites to learn more about HPAI and what they can do to combat it. Tips for backyard poultry owners can be found at www.bah.state.mn.us/media/HPAI-Notice-Backyard-Final.pdf. Comprehensive poultry biosecurity steps can be read at www.bah.state.mn.us/poultry/#biosecurity.